Category Archives: From the Campaign Trail

We’re renewing our commitment to defeat Tim Eyman’s Initiative 892

From the Campaign Trail

As one season ends, another begins.

Election season is now upon us, and Tim Eyman’s Initiative 892 is on the ballot. Funded by out of state, foreign gambling conglomerates, Initiative 892 asks voters to grant the gambling industry the right to invade Washington communities.

I-892 is a malicious, destructive initiative, financed by a scheming gambling industry, and falsely promoted by Tim Eyman as a plan to give everyone a free pony (sorry, make that property tax cut). But Initiative 892 isn’t about property tax cuts. It’s about the biggest expansion of gambling in the history of the state.

Initiative 892 would allow the installation of 18,255 slot machines in neighborhood bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants, and would create $23 billion in new wagering… as admitted by Tim Eyman himself.

As we move forward into August, September, and October, a great battle looms before us. We have won one victory against Tim Eyman with the failure of Initiative 684, but now we face a well-funded, powerful foe… Eyman’s partners in the the gambling industry.

The industry will stop at nothing to achieve their agenda. They have lobbied intensely to the Legislature to have electronic slot machines approved, to no avail. Now, they are trying the “back door” – the initiative process.

Tim Eyman has been defeated at the ballot box before, when voters resoundingly voted down Initiative 745. We’ve beaten Eyman once before at the ballot, and we can do it again.

We hereby renew our commitment to see I-892’s defeat through to the end. We are resolved to continue opposing this awful initiative every step of the way until Election Day.

And we can do it. We’ve already seen Eyman’s winning streak come to an end. Of the last four initiatives that Eyman has attempted to qualify to the ballot, only one has made it. Three have failed. And one only succeeded because of huge contributions from gambling conglomerates.

Fewer and fewer people are buying the snake oil Tim Eyman is selling. Unable to secure financing for what he really wants to put on the ballot, Eyman has made a pact with the gambling industry to serve as their front man, promoting this ridiculous tax refunds for slot machines plan. How fitting that he’s now a tool of an industry that preys on people in order to generate profits.

We can fight both Eyman and the gambling industry and win. But only if we organize and mobilize for victory every day from now through Election Day.

Opponents confront Tim Eyman in Olympia during submission of signatures for I-892

Eye on Money: DevelopmentsFrom the Campaign TrailThreat Analysis

On Sunday, June 27th, 2004, Tim Eyman announced that he had 235,000 signatures on hand to turn in to the Secretary of State’s office this morning for Initiative 892, his scheme to expand gambling in every corner of the state. The minimum requirement for the 2004 ballot is about 198,000 signatures.

To counter Tim’s lies and deceitful statistics, Permanent Defense’s Andrew Villeneuve journeyed to Olympia with fellow activists David Goldstein and Steve Zemke to talk to reporters and confront Eyman at his press conference for I-892 at the Secretary of State’s Elections Annex.

We were were successful in throwing Eyman off script as he attempted to go through his rehearsed sales pitch. Although Eyman refused, and still refuses to admit it, the initiative is primarily about an expansion of gambling. It places 19,000 slot machines into neighborhood bars, bowling alleys, and restaurants.

Eyman ignored questions about I-864, the other initiative he claims to be attempting to be qualifying for the ballot. He completely disregarded questions from reporters, brushing them off and attempting to shut them down. The press refused to be daunted, however, and continued to ask questions.

Eyman was interrupted during his press conference by Zemke, who heads Taxpayers For Washington’s Future, an ally of Permanent Defense. Eyman had propped up a graph showing a general rise in property taxes since 1980 and was complaining about the increase in taxes to the press.

But Tim’s graph didn’t take into account inflation, or population growth, or new development (which causes an increase the number of properties assessed by the state). Steve correctly pointed out that Eyman’s graph was worthless because it did not make apples-to-apples comparisons.

More people means more public services, which requires money. More properties means more revenue for the state. And any economist knows that inflation is a continual increase in the cost of products and services, which is a factor that influences the entire economy- including property values.

Tim’s claim that his initiative has wide popular support is also a myth. Tim hasn’t run a campaign powered by volunteer supporters in years. All of his initiatives since 1999 have relied on paid signature gatherers to get on the ballot. I-892 is no exception.

There is no broad-based movement in the state of Washington agitating for these anti-tax initiatives. But there is an alliance between Tim Eyman and the gambling industry, with the goal of swindling voters into believing that I-892 is a good initiative because they’ll save a few bucks on their property taxes. I-892 is the most massive expansion of gambling in state history.

Alone on Monday with no sidekicks in tow, Tim Eyman himself reminded us all he’s just become a mouthpiece for the gambling industry. For the past fifteen weeks, Eyman has paid himself to the tune of $3,100 a week. That’s more than many Wal-Mart employees make in a month.

The backers of I-892 are giant gaming and gambling conglomerates, like Great Canadian Gaming of British Columbia, which is accused of allowing loan sharking in its Canadian casinos and not keeping true to an investment made jointly with Allegiance Capital of Texas. The investment was a floating casino, a “cruise ship” of sorts, which now sits off of Taiwan and is a den of prostitutes.

Other backers include Michaels Associates of Nevada, which was recently fined $50,000 by the WSGC for lax oversight that resulted in a $250,000 embezzlement, and Washington Gaming, the third largest donor, which is currently more than $900,000 delinquent in state taxes.

Washington Gaming co-owner Tim Iszley is a leading member of the Entertainment Industry Coalition, which spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on paid signature gatherers to get 892 on the ballot.

The initiative was financed by out of state, foreign gambling interests, and its signatures were collected by out of state workers from California and other areas.

I-892 was sold to Washingtonians by petitioners as an initiative to cut their property taxes. Petitioners conveniently failed to mention that the initiative would bring about the biggest expansion of gambling in state history.

Washington voters will vote no on I-892 in November because they will know the initiative is bad for their communities. Permanent Defense remains dedicated to its mission of opposing Eyman and will continue to fight against I-892 until its defeat in November.

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View our I-976 Impact Map

Permanent Defense has created a tool for visualizing projects and services that could be lost if Tim Eyman’s I-976  is implemented. Take a look:

NO on I-976 Impact Map

We’ve also published a guide to the map which you can read here.

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Permanent Defense works to protect Washington by building a first line of defense against threats to the common wealth and Constitution of the Evergreen State — like Tim Eyman's initiative factory. Learn more.

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